Friday, June 10, 2011

And the winner is...

I'm so happy to announce the winner of the Willow House May giveaway, the Keepsake Card & Photo Display...and it is...Michelle C!

Thanks so much for your order Michelle, I hope you really enjoy this fun accent piece.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

There is a season turn, turn, turn

Turning the calendar over today was an act that I've been dreading a little. "How exactly is it June already?" I ask the universe. No response. Figures. As I flipped the page from May to June I see a big red star on the 15th. Moving day is fast approaching. I'm not ready. There's still much to do. This weekend is our big moving sale. My daughter is dog-sitting for friends who are going on vacation. We're still finishing up our math and language arts projects so we can put our homeschool year to bed. And then there's work, you know the act of service that pays the bills? And a cookout to plan with our neighbors that will soon be our old-neighbors. {sigh} Ah yes, much to do. I remind myself that it's all good as I start the procession of boxes that will soon fill the spaces where our lives took place. I will miss this house. I will miss these neighbors. I will miss it all. As I grab a tissue to wipe away yet another rush of tears, I remind myself too that I must look forward to what's next. I do trust there are good things in store. And in a few more weeks, Lord willing, there'll be a chance to turn that calendar over once again.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.  

Ecclesiastes 3:1 



Monday, May 30, 2011

Willow House sweet deal & giveaway

What can I say. I went to a Willow House party and fell in love with the products. Seriously, what's not to love?

Simple. Earthy. Chic. I took the bait and signed up as a consultant. Yay me! My first order came from the fabulous Janet over at theemptynest who purchased the Tall Glass Domes. And lookie what she did with them {love!}:

The artsy/craftsy side of me began to drool when I saw things like this:

Organized and so stylish. And then my baking/kitchenista side saw the sassy Cinnabar collection. The color of love. Gorgeous, right?

As a brand-new consultant, I'm trying real hard to meet my May sales goal. But time is running short and I'm not quite there yet. I figured it's the perfect time to sweeten the deal by offering FREE SHIPPING for all orders placed at my online store by May 31st.

But is that all a girl can give? I think not. How about a Giveaway?! Yes, now we're talking.

Everyone who places an online order with me in May will be entered into a drawing to win this chic and loverly Keepsake Card & Photo Display [#41481, $29.96 value]:

Currently Willow House doesn't offer a coupon code feature so the free shipping offer will have to be handled as a reimbursement. Just email me with your order number and I'll send your shipping back to you via paypal or personal check, whichever you prefer. Easy peasy. Then I'll put your name in the hat (literally) to see who wins this cute burnished metal display. It's a great way to show off family photos, cards, recipes, coupons, fabric swatches or anything else your little heart desires.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to my online store and find something that you love!


A big thanks to everyone who placed an online order during May! I'll be announcing the winner of the keepsake display very soon. I will also be announcing a giveaway for June so stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm still struggling with being in a funk. Clearly something everyone can relate to at one point or another in their lives. As I pull together my thoughts and to-do list this morning, I'm realizing that it's not only about what I'm going to do:

 ~ I'm finishing up a design proof for a new client
 ~ I'm purging/prioritizing my craft/art closet
 ~ I'm going to remind my kids that I'm here for them and tell them how precious they are to me
 ~ I'm going to create a coupon code for my etsy shop
 ~ I'm putting our Netflix account on hold
 ~ I'm fact finding about ISP service at our new abode
 ~ I'm going to get caught up on our Language Arts lessons
 ~ I'm going to take time to go for a walk
 ~ I'm going to focus on being grateful and present in the moment
 ~ I'm going to make dinner for my family
 ~ I'm going to go to bed early and get some rest

But it's also about what I'm not going to do:

 ~ I'm not going to be angry
 ~ I'm not going to be hard on myself or others
 ~ I'm not going to eat things that make me feel bad
 ~ I'm not going to stress about not doing enough
 ~ I'm not going to be short with my kids or my husband
 ~ I'm not going to feel sorry for myself
 ~ I'm not going to be sad

Today I'm realizing that the not-to-do's are as important as the to-do's. Actually more important because it's about my attitude, focus and appreciation today. And everyday. We all put up roadblocks that make our day easier or harder because of how we see ourselves and how we see situations that we're going through. Honestly, our current situation is a bump in the road. It's an inconvenience more than anything. But to me it feels like a giant sinkhole. I've got to find a way to reframe this emotionally. A way to turn it around and see it as an opportunity.

What are you going through right now? Are you being fair to yourself when you plan out your day? Are you taking time to be gentle with yourself and others amidst the tough stuff?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Break on through to the other side

It's been forever since I've said hello on my blog. Or said anything for that matter. I can't count the number of post ideas I've composed in my head the last few months only to decide a minute later that nobody would want to read about that. I know it's a waste of precious time to doubt yourself but I also know it's a common thought pattern with artists at times. And bloggers, at least with bloggers who struggle with confidence. I've been in a serious confidence-lacking dungeon. It's a dark place, smells musty and there aren't any windows. Why I've stayed in that place for this long is a mystery to me. The longer I stayed the darker it became. I wondered if I was depressed? Stressed out? Having a midlife crisis? Probably a combination, I decided, of these and a half dozen other factors.

I finally realized I was missing the light. So I climbed out. And here I am. I'm feeling pretty stoked about being above ground again emotionally. My journal needs dusting off. And my sewing machine yearns to have the presser foot pushed flat. There's an empty space where newly made things will perch and items for my etsy shop will sit briefly before being whisked off to some far away place where the new owner lives. My brand new wacom tablet is waiting to be played with and understood.

I'm feeling a real sense of clarity about some things that I've been feeling pent up about for years. Like my website. A real honest-to-goodness website where my design portfolio will live. A place where I can confidently start to sell my services as a designer again. It feels really good to say that.

Seeing the light again is bringing about a flood of realizations. I realize that I need to shed some things. Do I really need a bricks and mortar antique booth and an etsy shop? Do I need to be in the vintage business at all? I'm realizing that my time management skills need a major tune-up too. I need to manage and manage well my current day job while building up my design business. And homeschooling. I've got nothing but improvements to make there.

I'm realizing that I have a passion for illustration. I always have. I'm giving myself permission to think of myself as an illustrator, to open myself up to opportunities to use that talent and passion.

I'm realizing that I've let myself take a big back seat to the people closest to me in my life. As a mother I think that's so innate. It's a good thing, in the right proportion. But I think mine has gone a little twisty at the ends. I've let myself go. I used to be incredibly fit. Not anymore. My clothing size has grown from single digits to double. I suddenly see very clearly that all these things have contributed to that dark little hole I'd crawled into.

So here I am. I'm singling out all the things that have contributed to the mess and cleaning them up. In some cases ridding myself of them entirely. If it was part of the problem then it's not part of the solution. I recognize that I've always righted-myself when life's knocked me over. But this time I feel like I need help. And no, I don't mean meds.

I need someone to help me redefine my focus and reset my goals. A coach perhaps? Maybe an organized way of connecting with others that share similar struggles? But what does that look like? Who is that coach? I started searching and about 10 minutes later I found Tara Gentile. You might know her as scoutiegirl. Her Art of Action program appears to have my name written all over it. I could probably be the poster child for it. I'm thrilled to say that I just signed up.

You've got to pop over and check it out. Her video intro is great. If you are struggling at all with who you are as an artist, where you want to go with your art or craft or feeling like you've gotten stuck in your own dark dungeon I recommend joining me in the Art of Action. I am excited about all the amazingly creative people that I'm going to meet and the breakthroughs that will be had. But most of all, I'm feeling grateful that God has helped me to see the light again.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I wanted to share the first illustration created with my newly acquired Wacom Intuos graphics tablet. I drew him for a child's birthday invitation project.

I am itching to play with the tablet more. I love using the pen! No surprise there. It'll take some getting used to, but I can totally see myself bailing on my mouse to use the pen exclusively.

I'm excited (and hopeful) about the possibilities this media might open up for me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Paris apron deadline extended

I'm so happy that Amy over at Angry Chicken has decided to extend the Tie One On Paris Apron deadline to the end of March. Yay! So. Very. Happy. February was a great -- but very busy and short -- month, so I was really sad-sacking around about not having my apron completed by months end. Thanks Amy, looking forward to getting my apron on (literally) in March!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Knitting lessons

I've wanted to learn how to knit for as long as I can remember. So the kids and I took knitting lessons at Orchardside Yarn Shop just before the holidays. It's a delightful little shop, nestled in one of the sweetest spots I've ever laid eyes on.

Carole, who's an incredibly talented knitter with many years of experience and even more patience, was our teacher. The kids each knitted a fuzzy winter hat. Sera really enjoyed the process. Blake decided about halfway through the project that knitting was not for him but it was a good lesson in finishing what you start. I decided on a felted tote for my first knitting project. I wanted something that required alot of stitches so that I could really burn the concept into my brain. This puppy was 96 stitches cast on, 50 rounds stockinette then 18 rounds reverse stockinette (purl), plus the two 27" straps. I worked with 2 strands of wool yarn which was a little confusing at times. I *love* felted wool so it was a pretty easy choice, plus I found out that felting would hide some of my mistakes. Nice.

As you can see in the photo above, the purse {before} looks like it was made for a giant. The felting process, which I did in the washing machine using hot water with the tote inside of a pillow case, brought it down to a nice size. I found the tactile nature of knitting and the repetitive moves very therapeutic. I can see how it could become addictive. I expect when I have a little more time to play that knitting and visits to the yarn shop will become a regular activity for me. At least I hope so. For now, I'm thinking about how to embellish this with some chocolate brown and moss green accents; or maybe grey wool felt. And thinking about what my next knitting project will be. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

apron in paris

Do you remember playing jump rope with friends? One friend would stand at each end of the rope, swinging it, and you were just waiting for the right moment to jump in? That's kind of how I've felt about this. I've been toying with the idea of joining in on one of Angry Chicken's tie one on apron challenges for a long time. I guess I just needed a theme that I could really get into. And what better theme is there than Paris? Okay, maybe chocolate, which btw would be a great theme too. So I'm jumping in! My sweet friend Heather over at bebeandalice has decided to take this on too which makes me oh-so happy since she's one of the coolest esty-ecofashionista's evah!

Pop on over to tie one on if you'd like to join in on the Parisian-inspired apron fun. Hrm, I'm wonder if I can write-off a little vacay to France for inspiration?
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